SOBEWFF: Bison Tartare, Cigars, and Spirits Under SoBe Moonlight

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All photos by Kareem Shaker
Nothing hits the spot like an after dinner cocktail matched with the right stogie. Leave it to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival to do it the right way. Friday under the stars on the rooftop of the Betsy Hotel, some of the best cigars and coinciding spirits in the world went center stage.

Christian Eiroa, whose grandfather first started producing cigars in Cuba in 1916, brought the coroja seed to South Beach from Pinar del Rio in Cuba. The seed was discontinued in 1987 due to its high susceptibility to blue mold, an airborne fungus.

"We reintroduced the seed in 1997 and completely changed the cigar business," said Eiroa. "The EIROA cigar has superior DNA and truly the best cigar Honduras has produced. It is made in the only factory that abides by Bayer's better manufacturing practices, which requires the factory to be climate controlled and 99% hygienic.

To go along with the Eiroa, Cigars and Spirits featured the Spanish brandy Solera Gran Reserva. Solera is aged 15 years and is at its best in a cocktail with cream sherry wine. The sweet strong flavor mixes well with the taste of a quality cigar.

See also: All our coverage of South Beach Wine & Food Festival

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Kareem Shaker
Craig Strong came all the way from Laguna Beach
It wouldn't be SoBeWFF without the right food to go along with cigars and spirits. Chef Craig Strong from Montage in Laguna Beach California prepared a delicious potato in short rum marmalade. Strong came to SoBeWFF for the first time and has marveled the unique and interesting mix of Caribbean and Southern tastes in the Magic City.

"The combination of traditions and people makes Miami as unique as a city like New Orleans," said Strong. "Its not all Latin, but Southern and Caribbean too. The diversity creates great flavos."

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Kareem Shaker

In addition to the aforementioned, a delicious bison tartare got a lot of attention. Aging Room brought the number two rated cigar in the world by Cigar Aficionado and Montecristo featured a ild flavor cigar to go along with a glass of bold Hennessy.

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